Free book promotion of Yokai on May 24!

This Thursday, May 24, Yokai will be FREE only on Amazon. The promotion period will only last one day, so make sure you pick up your copy then, and spread the word!

 

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Sixteen-year-old Kit Maguire has never met her mother, made lasting friendships, or had a permanent home, and she’s always known that she was a little different from others. When Kit and her father move to Kyoto, Japan, her father insists that this time will be better, but Kit is reluctant to give it a try. The kids in Kyoto seem to be the same as everywhere else: judging her for her looks before they get to know her. She figures it’s just one more short stop that she won’t make friends, so why bother?

With the appearance of her thought-to-be-dead mother, Kit yearns to find out more about her mom, their family, and why she has the ability to conjure green fire. When a girl named Yoriko insists on becoming friends and two of the hottest guys in school vie for her attention, things get complicated. Kit learns just who she is and what she’s capable of, but with that knowledge comes the realization that she may never be able to have a relationship with Riku; as their clans are bitter enemies. Kit hopes that their love will bring the clans together and that she’ll get everything she’s ever wanted: family, friends, and a place to call home.

 

Yokai can be purchased exclusively at Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/Yokai-ebook/dp/B0083DF25E/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_3

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#samplesunday “The Homeland” from Yokai

I’ve always been fascinated by all things Japanese, so it was only a matter of time before I started writing about my fascination. Or my obsession. Whatever. Below is an excerpt from Yokai, released on May 15. But first, the blurb:

ImageSixteen-year-old Kit Maguire has never met her mother, made lasting friendships, or had a permanent home, and she’s always known that she was a little different from others. When Kit and her father move to Kyoto, Japan, her father insists that this time will be better, but Kit is reluctant to give it a try. The kids in Kyoto seem to be the same as everywhere else: judging her for her looks before they get to know her. She figures it’s just one more short stop that she won’t make friends, so why bother?

With the appearance of her thought-to-be-dead mother, Kit yearns to find out more about her mom, their family, and why she has the ability to conjure green fire. When a girl named Yoriko insists on becoming friends and two of the hottest guys in school vie for her attention, things get complicated. Kit learns just who she is and what she’s capable of, but with that knowledge comes the realization that she may never be able to have a relationship with Riku; as their clans are bitter enemies. Kit hopes that their love will bring the clans together and that she’ll get everything she’s ever wanted: family, friends, and a place to call home.

 

And now, the excerpt!  “The Homeland” 

 

They’re whispering “Gaijin.”

Outsider.

As if I can’t hear them.

The girl in the corner leans over to her neighbor, covering her mouth as if I am a lip reader, but I’m not. I can hear her hushed voice anyway, soft and cruel.

“Kanojo wa Amerika-jin desu.”

She is American.

I stare at my feet. Clutched in front of me, my book bag, a square thing somewhat like a businessman’s briefcase and so unlike the one I had used in the States, brushes my navy pleated skirt. This uniform thing has got to go. I feel like a freaking Sailor Scout. My right hand goes to my throat, clasping my necklace, a tiny key with a heart for a handle on a black silk cord, for reassurance. The cold metal gives me strength as I think of my mother and steel myself against the whispers.

“Kit Maguire,” the teacher says, her voice warm and welcoming, a stark contrast to the whispering teens. Her drab gray skirt-suit and hair pulled back in a severe bun seem so sharp, so cold against her warm smile and welcome. Miss Tanaka’s red eyeglasses are the only spark of color on her. She places a well-manicured hand on my shoulder and extends the other one toward the class. I look out over the sea of new faces I would probably never come to know. Dad said this time would be different, that this time was special, I just didn’t know it yet. I didn’t believe him. He always said it would be different every time we moved. How could this time be any different?

I spy an empty seat in the corner by the window and make a bee-line for it, my feet feeling unusually heavy in the strange bleached white school shoes. The whispering continues as I pass through the rows of desks, but I try to ignore it. Their Kyoto-ben is unmistakable, and a little different than what I’m used to, but I still make out their snide remarks. They probably think I can’t understand a word they say, and can’t hear them even if I did. But I can, and I do. Every little whisper.

“Look at her hair.” A pair of boys snicker as I pass by. “Just like Daisuke sempai.”

“Freak.” A girl with glistening, long black hair frowns, flips her hair with her hand and turns away.

Dumping the bag on my desk, I take my seat and immediately gaze out the window, not wanting to know any of these kids. They’re the same everywhere I’ve been. They judge me before they know me, and all because of my looks. I don’t want to be here.

I feel a tap on my shoulder and turn. The girl next to me smiles, her almond eyes narrowing to slits as she does.

“Watashi wa Honda Yoriko.” I’m Yoriko Honda. Her shoulder-length locks sweep past her face as she dips her head in a little bow.

I mimic the bow, introduce myself and turn away again. One nice girl doesn’t make a difference. I still don’t want to know any of them. We’ll be on the road again soon enough, just as soon as something bad happens. Something usually does. Fushimi would be no different.

Even if it is my homeland.

 

Yokai can be purchased exclusively at Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/Yokai-ebook/dp/B0083DF25E/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_3

New Release – #Yokai – YA paranormal Romance

My latest novel, Yokai, was released on Tuesday, May 15. A YA paranormal romance, I feel it is completely different from any other book that I have written previously.

It’s hard not to fall in love with your characters, and I certainly have. I love Kit, for being the stubborn and strong girl that she is. I love Daisuke for his cool confidence. I love Riku for being tender, yet strong. And of course, I love Hiro, because he’s just so darn cute! I hope that you will enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

The blurb:

Sixteen-year-old Kit Maguire has never met her mother, made lasting friendships, or had a permanent home, and she’s always known that she was a little different from others. When Kit and her father move to Kyoto, Japan, her father insists that this time will be better, but Kit is reluctant to give it a try. The kids in Kyoto seem to be the same as everywhere else: judging her for her looks before they get to know her. She figures it’s just one more short stop that she won’t make friends, so why bother?

With the appearance of her thought-to-be-dead mother, Kit yearns to find out more about her mom, their family, and why she has the ability to conjure green fire. When a girl named Yoriko insists on becoming friends and two of the hottest guys in school vie for her attention, things get complicated. Kit learns just who she is and what she’s capable of, but with that knowledge comes the realization that she may never be able to have a relationship with Riku; as their clans are bitter enemies. Kit hopes that their love will bring the clans together and that she’ll get everything she’s ever wanted: family, friends, and a place to call home.

Yokai is an Amazon exclusive for only $2.99 and is available for Prime members to borrow for free!

http://www.amazon.com/Yokai-ebook/dp/B0083DF25E/ref=la_B0050WSCQW_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1337260250&sr=1-6

 

Cinco de Mayo cake pops

Got leftover Christmas sprinkles? Here’s what to do with them!

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Make Cinco de Mayo cake pops! The tri-sprinkle are perfect, but if you have leftover red and green sparkles, just melt some white chocolate for an easy Mexican flag cake pop!

New Novel Coming Soon!

Just to whet your appetite, my latest novel, Yokai, will be arriving on Amazon shelves soon! It’s a YA paranormal romance. For now, here’s the cover. Enjoy!

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Won’t you help me out?

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged on this blog of mine for almost a month. That in and of itself is a travesty.

Now I’m asking for your help. My daughter entered a photo contest for Shonen Jump called Show Us Your Love. The photo with the most votes by the end of this week wins round 1. I’m hoping she’ll get there. She’s already at #6 out of 160 photos. So I could really use all of your help. You can vote once a day every day until this Saturday ends. Please help her out. She’s really excited about this contest. Top winner from both weeks gets an Ipad 2, which is great because she doesn’t have one (none of us in the house do) and the only way to read Shonen Jump now that it’s gone digital is on the lunky computer or on an Ipad. So our choice is on the lunky computer because there’ no Android app yet.

So, here’s the link, please tweet, reblog, and share it as much as you can, and please vote every day. Thank you so much!!

http://promoshq.wildfireapp.com/website/6/contests/196251/voteable_entries/47178278

Crazy jump in rank!

My free downloads of Nashoga (Redstone Series #1) jumped from this morning (approx 11am) to now (2:30pm) almost 200 copies and made it lunge from #1400 to #347! Just wanted to share that happiness with you! 🙂

Of course, I don’t like to look a gift horse in the mouth, but what could have caused that huge jump? Anyone got any ideas?

If you want to pick one up (shameless plug) here’s the link and I hope you enjoy it too.

http://www.amazon.com/Nashoga-The-Redstone-Series-ebook/dp/B004XD8OPS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330197919&sr=8-1

10 Ways to Improve Your “Likability Quotient”

A thoughtful, insightful, and very much worth every minute of your time to read and implement, fellow writers!

Kristen Lamb's Blog

A couple weeks ago, I had a post about how to sell fiction. We explored the WHY behind the BUY. The same tools that will sell car insurance or bank accounts won’t work for selling books. Fiction is emotional, and often we will purchase based off feelings. This is why likability on social media is so crucial to marketing. We are no longer selling stories…we are selling ourselves, which just confirms for me that writers really are the oldest profession in the world. But that’s another topic entirely :D.

Often we will judge a book by its cover author. If interacting with the author is a pleasant experience, we feel better about purchasing their books and even promoting them to our network of connections. Conversely, if an author is self-centered, self-promotes non-stop, spams everyone in sight, takes without giving in return and acts like an equestrian derriere, we would…

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Typos are everywhere

While sitting here with a box of frozen peas resting on my shin–nursing a gift from an errant baseball during a little game of ball outside today–I thought I’d pen my next entry. I finished up Rick Riordan’s The Lost Hero last night and would like to pick up that old stick, the typo debate. Typos are EVERYWHERE and if you don’t think that there’s typos in professional books, you haven’t been reading much. 

I constantly see comments on Indie authors’ books that say typo this, typo that, mistakes, blah, blah, blah. But the truth of the matter is, even the biggest, best authors still make mistakes. And even the best paid editors fail to see them. I can’t tell you how many typos I found in this last book of his, and it’s not just this one. Throughout the two Kane books of his, I also found typos. Not in the misspelling type of way, but in the missing a word or neglecting to edit out an extra word type of way. Perhaps Mr. Riordan should think of hiring a new editor. 

I’ve seen mistakes on the ABC 6 o’clock news–a they’re/there/their typo (yup, written on the screen, someone’s copy editor needs firing); I’ve seen mistakes in this year’s February issue of American Educator, and I’ve even seen typos in the great Stephen King’s books. Typos are everywhere. Get used to them. Is it an excuse for poor editing? No. But don’t expect everything to be perfect. There IS NO perfection.

The point I’m trying to make here is that perhaps readers should get off their *ahem* high horses and realize that authors (and editors) are just like everyone else. They’re human. They make mistakes. Typos are everywhere!

The Secret World of Arietty – Review

Remember the last time it snowed in New York City a few weeks ago? Well, my sister, daughter and I had tickets to a special advance screening to Hayao Miyazaki’s The Secret World of Arietty courtesy of the New York International Children’s Film Festival (that’s a mouthful!). I was dismayed when we received so much snow, but fearless, we trekked into the city for the showing. At the time, they asked any bloggers not to review the show, but now that it’s been officially released, I don’t think it’s a problem.

Arietty is an imaginative movie based on the book, The Borrowers, and although I’ve never read the book, I can say with confidence that this movie did a pretty good job of sticking to the plot of the book. I can say this because my daughter had me rush right out afterward and purchase The Borrowers for her to read and she gave me the lowdown.

Getting back to the movie, Arietty is about a family of little people who live under a house of humans and “borrow” things that we won’t miss, like sugar or tissues. Arietty lives with her mother and father, and they haven’t seen others in a long time. A sickly boy moves into the house above, whose mother used to tell him stories about the little people. One day he sees Arietty and although she is warned against it, she strikes up a friendship of sorts with the boy.

The movie has fantastic animation, as can be expected from a Studio Ghibli film. It has just enough humor to break the tension, and is a movie fit for the young and old. I won’t spoil the ending for you, but it is satisfying even though your cheeks may be a little wet. I truly enjoyed this movie and can’t wait to add it to my DVD collection.